I'm not saying they don't improve performance. I'm just saying they don't improve it to a "feelable" amount. It's all relative, of course, to the starting HP numbers. Obviously a 25hp gain will be much more noticeable on a 150hp 4 cylinder than it will on a 600hp big block chevy. A new muffler just isn't going to add a "feelable" performance. The new sound can have a way of tricking the mind... it sounds tougher thus feels faster. But it's not. It's like when young kids get new sneakers, they want to show their mom how fast they can now run, but they're not any faster, they just have new shoes.
I also get a chuckle at HP math. My brother-in-law fell into this trap with his mustang until I explained it to him. If you add something that reportedly gives you "up to 20hp" and something else that gives you "up to 10 hp" and another add-on that give you "up to 30 hp". You do NOT gain 60hp. Sorry, it's just not happening that way. One time during testing they managed a 20hp gain on that first part, that's all they needed to make the claim. And, if you put each part on one at a time, tested, actually got those numbers, and took the part off before testing the next part, when you put all the parts on at the same time, you might get 30 or 40 hp (if you were able to get their advertised numbers).
Ok... I'll step off the soap box now.